There are urgent concerns that 14 Saudi Arabian men accused of protest-related offences are facing imminent execution. The group, including disabled Munir al-Adam and juvenile Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat, have been moved to the Saudi capital Riyadh in the last few hours according to reports received by Reprieve.
All 14 were sentenced by the controversial Specialized Criminal Court which used confessions extracted through torture as the basis for convictions. Nearly all were charged with offences related to attending protests.
Munir al-Adam is half-deaf and partially-blind after an accident as a child. Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat was only 17 when he was alleged to have attending a protest and subsequently sentenced to death. He had a place to study at university in the US and was arrested at the airport on his way there. At least one other juvenile and several young protesters are believed to among those awaiting execution.
This marks a further escalation of executions under the new Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, with 14 executions already this week, including 4 persons who had been sentenced to death on protest-related charges. These executions were the first since 2 January 2016, when the Kingdom executed 47 people en masse, including juvenile Ali al-Ribh.
The heir to the Saudi throne has been praised by both President Donald Trump and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson since being appointed to his post, despite concerns over Saudi Arabia’s use of “counterterrorism” to sentence juveniles and protesters to death.
Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve said:
“This is an extremely worrying move from the increasingly brutal regime in Saudi Arabia. To execute a disabled man and a juvenile protestor would be an appalling breach of international law and world leaders cannot stand silently by and let this happen. President Trump and Theresa May need to tell the new Saudi Crown Prince loudly and clearly that this is an unacceptable red line that should not be crossed.”
Notes to Editors:
1. More information on Munir al-Adam can be seen here.